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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Brad Pitt described The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as his ‘love letter to New Orleans.’ This golden hued film, nominated for 13 Oscars, was inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story written in 1921 and published as part of a collection entitled, “Tales from the Jazz Age.”

Languorous as a warm New Orleans evening, it comes as no surprise that director David Fincher spend 180 million on the production. Even more delightful than watching three hours of old New Orleans houses and cable cars was listening to Brad Pitt’s southern accent – you didn’t have to even watch the movie to know where you were.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button tells the story of a man born old, who dies young. Keeping little else from the original story, Fincher’s version at times is an essay on pre-determinism. No one in the film has the power to exercise their own free will. Daisy’s (Cate Blanchett) accident appears pre-destined from the beginning as one event after another piles up to lead her smack in front of a passing car. On the other hand, Englishwoman Elizabeth Abbot (Tilda Swinton) appears to take control of her future when she attempts to swim the English Channel a second time. But, is this really her own choice or is she merely led to this decision because of her relationship with Benjamin. Certainly, Benjamin seems resigned to his fate, death as an infant. He observes life with a sardonic air, rarely showing emotion. What are we to take away from our time spent watching this beautiful to look at film? After all, even though we as mortals are born young and die old, we die nonetheless. Are we all just waiting for our own personal hurricane Katrina to sweep us away?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Release Date: December 25, 2008
Runtime: 2hr. 47min.
Genre: Drama/Fantasy
Rating: PG-13
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchette, Taraji P. Henson, Julia Ormond,
Tilda Swinton
Director: David Fincher
Stars 4 1/2

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